Prioritizing Convenience: The Future of Farms?

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The past couple of weeks at Fisher Brothers Farm I have spent a majority of my time developing a web page for the farms newest feature, their “Drive-through Service.” When Bob and Becky (the owners of the farm) first came to me with this idea, they emphasized their desire for convenience. They recognized the busy, fast-paced lives of their regular customers and wanted to tend to their hectic schedules while still attracting business to the farm. Therefore, they came up with the idea of a drive-through pick-up service. Here’s how it works–each day we post available products on our website by 11 am. From the convenience of the customers desk at home or work, if they place an order and pay online before 2 pm that day, we will have their order ready between 4-6 pm.  They don’t even need to get out of their car.

In order to prepare for the opening of the drive-through, I made a webpage on their existing website that shows all of the products available with their photos and inventory. The service has been up and running for almost two weeks now and they have received an impressive amount of orders each day.

Above is the drive-through tab that exists on the website now.

I have found this idea interesting because it certainly has been successful. People love the idea of convenience, yet they still desire local, farm fresh products. They don’t have to take the time to drive down and pick their berries or even make their way down the driveway and into the farm stand. They simply pull up, get their items, and drive away.

My only struggle with this concept is that Fisher Brothers is a farm that is able to create a function like the drive-through, whereas an innumerable amount of farms in Vermont could never pull off such a service. This kind of service relies on  constant communication with the customers, which requires a strong social media presence and technological skill. Unfortunately, so many farmers do not have access to either of those.

The visible success of the Fisher Brothers drive-through service is certainly a great template for farms for the future, that is for farms that can mimic it successfully. I’m continuing to think of ways in which farms that lack a social media presence or the funds to create this kind of service can market their products in new and exciting ways that grab consumers’ attention. In a way, I see many of the food hubs we have visited as key players in providing these services. If local food hubs can provide a service where they help farmers with branding, social media, and advertising, they could guide them in the right direction to eventually reaching the possibility of a drive-through service like Fisher Brothers.

In other news, I have been doing a lot of hands-on jobs at the farm as well. All three berries are now available at the farm (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) so it has certainly been exciting to see all of the weeding and pruning paying off. Below are a few images of the berries.

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